SP Rides: Red Dawn


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By Alysia Paaluhi

Carmelo Diaz of Ewa Beach is always “seeing red,” which for him means anything but the rage that many associate with the phrase. Diaz, 26, has never owned a car that was not red, from the first car he had in high school, a 1989 Acura Legend, until now.

He has come a long way from his Acura; today the ride Diaz takes pride in is his 2003 Infinity G35 Coupe. He acquired the car in 2007 from an ad in the paper. He came across it while in search for a Lexus SE 300. He later found a 1995 Lexus SE 300 5 speed, which is now his daily driver.

The build time for his Infinity G35 Coupe is 5 years and counting. It was originally desert platinum silver, which he painted Matador red mica (Lexus IS-F Red). The hood, trunk, and roof are black accented with red flakes. His custom vanity plates read “JDMFTW” which stands for Japanese Domestic Market For The Win.

Under the hood, the car features a tuned UPREV Osiris, a wiretuck, which Diaz did himself, a polished Cosworth intake manifold, a polished/bored Throttlebody, an EVO-R Carbon Z-tube, GTM 3″ MAF, and JWT Popcharger Filter. He has rare SG-Motorsport Long Tube Headers, a Motordyne XYZ Pipe, and Motordyne Harakiri Single Titanium Exhaust. Another rare find is his JDM Engine Harness Cover, ARC Oil Cap, ARC Radiator Cap, Mishimoto Aluminum Radiator, Nismo Low Temp Thermostat, RHD JDM Battery Cover, Python Red AC line Caps. What makes everything under the hood really shine is the polished Coolant and power steering cans, and the engine firewall lined with gold heat barrier foil

The drivetrain features a JWT clutch/flywheel combo, Nismo short throw shifter, Nismo pilot bearing, a custom ACPT 1 piece carbon driveshaft, 4.08 Final drive gears, and Quaife LSD.
His suspension is BC Coilovers, Brembo Calipers powder coated red, Brembo Drilled Rotors, with Stoptech SS Brake Lines, NRG Carbon Strut Tower, Rare JDM Rear Strut Bar, SPC Front A-Arms, and SPC rear Camber Links with toe bolts

Inside Diaz has converted All gauges and AC controls with Red LEDs. Additional features include;  Ivory GT Carbon Steering Wheel, JDM Nissan airbag, JDM Nissan digital clock, JDM Double DIN with AC controls, JDM armrest delete, ARC polished burnt titanium shift knob, Sparco Torino 2 seats, an 2006 Dash and center console was swapped in, and an Alpine Double DIN W505. All Interior Pieces were, of course, color matched to the exterior…Red.

The exterior of this ride has a Nismo Front Bumper and sides, Chargespeed rear with carbon diffuser, VIS carbon slayer hood, Ionic Dynamics carbon grille, Ivory GT carbon roof cap, Strafe carbon roof spoiler, Strafe carbon duckbill trunk. All carbon is sprayed with red microsequence. The custom side mirror blinkers are custom, along with JDM 06-07 Taillights. Diaz Modded 06-07 Headlights, and JDM bump style clear corners with LEDs himself. His front wheels are 19X9.5 Volk GT-30, and he has 19X10.5 Volk GT-30 sprayed gloss black with red microsequence on the rear wheels. Wheels also have limited Volk center caps with VOLK lettering in red, along with red Rays Volk Formula Lug Nuts, (FALKEN FK452 245/35/19 and 275/35/19)

All of these modifications and upgrades have added up to be a hefty investment. “I don’t like to think about the amount (of money) I put in,” Jokes Diaz, “it’s a lot.” But he is far from done, as his future list of upgrades include a sound system and more N/A parts.

Although Diaz is fond of his Infinity, like any import buff, he also has a wish list of cars he would like to have one day. On top of that list is an R33 GTR, which appeals to Diaz because it is a rare right hand drive import from Japan.  A close second is the Toyota Supra because of its twin turbo stock and high value, and last would be the S14 240.

Suffice it to say, car modification is Diaz’s top hobby. When he is not working on cars, he is hanging with friends from his car club VQ I.N.C. (Infinity Nissan Club), and he is an electrician by trade.  The club won Best Team at this year’s Ultimate Showdown at Aloha Tower, where Diaz also took Best Infinity. Other events his Infinity has been featured in are Spocom and Hellaflush.

Diaz would like to give a shout out to, “MunkyWurksGarage, Aiea Collision Center, RadMotoSport, Auto Customs, Hidecalgfx, VQi.n.c., ProjectDefinition, D3Photo, all my friends that have helped me along the way, my parents, and the BAMF’s.” The next event Diaz and VQ I.N.C will be featured in is the Hot Import Nights on Dec. 8.